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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Who is the law – police or Umno? – The Malaysian Insider


This isn’t a naive question. Who is the law in Malaysia – the police or Umno?
Police stopped Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim from finishing his speech at a Pakatan Rakyat ceramah in Kulai last night. Only the PKR de facto leader was not allowed to deliver his full speech while other allies earlier spoke to the crowd.
Kulai PKR chief Liew Shin Kheong was quoted as syaing Kullai Jaya OCPD Supt Zulkifli Yahya had led a police team to end the ceramah, ostensibly at the behest of a group of 30 Umno Youth members.
Since when did police say they take orders from Umno or, for that matter, Umno Youth? Don’t they know the difference between government and party? Or have they become so blatant about only persecuting the opposition but not parties that are part of the federal government?
After all, it doesn’t matter whether it is the government or the opposition parties. The police are supposed to act without fear or favour.
Anwar himself lambasted Zulkifli’s decision as “nonsensical” in a text-message that he circulated earlier today.
“It is unreasonable that police should bow to Umno and follow the directions of a small number of rude supporters,” the Permatang Pauh MP said.
If anything, the police should have taken action against the Pakatan Rakyat for not having a permit for the ceramah. Of course, one would have expected the police to issue a permit as a matter of routine but that is a different matter altogether.
What is important is that the police act without fear or favour and is seen to act without fear or favour. Already, its history of doing so is rather suspect.
The Royal Malaysian Police appears to have a penchant to come out in full force to stop ceramahs and gatherings rather than work to bring down the crime rate with more patrols, and capturing suspected criminals rather than just shooting them dead.
Just like the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) that appears to prosecute small fry and opposition politicians rather than the big fish and those from the ruling coalition. The Port Klang Free Zone and the Lingam video clip scandals come to mind.
Before these enforcement authorities get their knickers in a twist, they should remember that their existence is to guarantee the peace and security of Malaysia and go after wrong-doers, no matter who they are.
It does them no good if they take orders from a political party. They should base their actions on the laws of the land. No more, no less.
Unless they want to add further credence to the suspicion, so eloquently expressed by Lim Kit Siang, that any one of these enforcement agencies are just Umno’s catspaw.
Umno certainly does not need that reputation, nor should the police confirm it.
But if the shoe fits...

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